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10 of the Most Hated Types of Employees

10 of the Most Hated Types of Employees

We have all met them, haven’t we? The slackers, the workaholics, the time wasters, the slow workers, the overambitious ones and the brown nosers. In short, these are the types of colleagues we wish we’d never had, yet they are always around. A recent Gallup poll showed that in general, employees tend to be unhappy, with as many as 70% hating their jobs. You can be sure that many of those will fit the descriptions below or they will be the cause of much of the discontent in the workplace. Here are the 10 types of employees who are undoubtedly hated universally. If one of these rings a bell with you or seems like you, it may be time to change your working style!

1. The ones who always miss the deadline

He or she may be the one who tells you quite calmly that she has forgotten all about that task and it has not even been done yet. When this is combined with a ‘no big deal’ attitude, then this is even more irritating. Whether you are a fellow team member or a manager, this can be infuriating – especially if it becomes an ingrained habit. Even worse are the excuses offered as to why this has happened.

The manager will have to decide whether the employee can be helped. There may be weaknesses in the planning stages, which skew the timing. This may need micromanaging for a short time to see what exactly is going on.

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There is also the issue of the worker trying to make a good impression and offering to do the task in the first place. This is usually because they are unaware of their limitations and they think that trying to gain brownie points is what counts.

2. The perfectionists who make life unbearable for everyone else

The problem with these people is that they often project their own fear of failure onto their co-workers and they become overcritical. They pounce on every little mistake. If they are in any managerial role, they often find it impossible to delegate. They always think they are the only ones who can get the job done properly. These perfectionists make teamwork almost impossible. If they spent more time in aiming for 80% perfect rather than 100%, then life would be easier for everybody. This would help to focus on the really important issues.

3. The time wasters

There are lots of ways you can waste time at work, if you are so inclined. People take extra long coffee breaks, for example. I once had a colleague who was always dashing out to the bank – we all wondered how many millions she had stashed away! Then there are all the other things that compete for their attention. Cigarette breaks, going out to do some shopping, chatting to colleagues and keeping up with office politics. Little work gets completed but they do not seem to care. Just look at the statistics from the UK. Up to 5 work days are wasted a year in just chatting to colleagues.

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4. The Internet surfers

These are not just the normal time wasters mentioned above because they actually appearto be working, rather than wandering around doing nothing! They are at their desk but they specialize only in the internet. It makes them feel terribly important and up to date! How can you miss sending a Tweet or catching up on Facebook? Online shopping is another favorite. Did you know that almost two thirds of workers (64%) surf the Internet every day at work and the sites they are visiting have nothing to do with their job? That means that deadlines are missed and work is left undone.

5. The workaholics

These people are often either using work as cover for deeply rooted psychological and social problems or they are simply driven by blind ambition. It is really an addiction to work. The problem is that there is a deeply rooted conviction that working extra long hours is a virtue rather than a vice. This will take a long time to eradicate. It takes great determination and not a little courage to go home at 5pm, as this working mother reports here.

6. The negative workers

These people are the first to point out obstacles, problems, and pessimistic forecasts. This affects the atmosphere for everybody and negativity can and does get people down. These people are usually first class whiners and always complaining. The problem is that this attitude can be contagious and affects general morale unless it is nipped in the bud. Finding out what is really causing the negativity is an essential step in dealing with this, if you are a manager or team leader. You will definitely need active listening skills!

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7. The gossipers

Gossipers create fear, resentment, worry and negativity. They thrive on office politics. It can be destructive, although sometimes it may be used humorously. If you are a manager, you may have to confront the perpetrators and make them aware that their activities are causing problems and not helping staff morale at all. Managers have to be very careful that they ‘walk the talk’ and not indulge in any office gossip themselves. This is important if they are to change the current atmosphere, and it takes both time and effort.

8. The loudmouths

Usually, these people are the ones who have not yet discovered their own volume control. Everybody around them suffers as conversations are conducted at stereophonic volume. This usually goes hand in hand with being a show off so they are impossible to ignore. Secretly, everybody hates them, but they are usually oblivious to all this.

9. The slobs

I remember a teaching colleague of mine whose desk consisted of a mountain of papers. He did go on to become a successful architect but at the time, it made life difficult for both students and colleagues. Being a slob really can be very off putting – especially when it comes to matters of personal hygiene, eating and drinking habits and not to mention tidying up papers. If their cubicle is a hazard, management will notice and their chances of promotion and getting raises may end up in the rubbish bin too!

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10. The ignorant ones who know nothing about e-mail etiquette

Incredible to think that there are still people out there who resort to shouting online by using the caps lock all the time when they send or reply to an e-mail! Have they been living under a rock? It would appear so, but there are lots of things to watch out for to make sure that you yourself are not guilty. Some people insist on marking e-mails a top priority when they are merely standard messages. This tends to get boring and very soon, colleagues switch off and will not even read them.

They also tend to copy everybody in when there are actually a few people actively concerned with the issue. Very often, a phone call is much more effective if only one or two people are actually involved. You can find a full list of the standard netiquette rules here.

Which working styles tend to irritate you and how have you dealt with them? Let us know in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Facebook on the computer/English 106 via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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